In early December of 2021 Ukrainian gymnast Diana Varinska announced her engagement to Kazakh gymnast Milad Karimi on social media. While such marriage announcements are frequent in the gymnastics community, this particular announcement resulted in some “marriage records” or distinctions that have rarely occurred in gymnastics history.
Thanks to the OlyMadMen Database, and with additional help from Hilary Evans, I was able to collect data on how the future union between Diana and Milad compares in the context of larger gymnastics and Olympic history.
(A) Diana Varinska and Milad Karimi will become the 20th pair of athletes from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics to marry.
(B) Diana Varinska will become either the 77th female Olympic gymnast (WAG) to marry a fellow Olympian or the 68th to do so when marriages that ended in divorce are excluded from the data.
(C) Diana Varinska joins Henrietta Onodi and Nadia Comaneci as only the third Olympic WAG to marry an Olympian who competed for a country that was different from her own.
(D) Diana Varinska and Milad Karimi join Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner as only the second ever pair of married Olympians in Olympic gymnastics where both couples competed in gymnastics (but competed for different nationalities). Henrietta Onodi married an Olympic pentathlete.
Bonus content: Hilary Evans found one additional piece of gymnastics trivia that relates to gymnasts marrying each other. The longest lasting marriage in all of Olympic history occurred between a pair of Olympic gymnasts. They were Pat Evans who was a 1948 Olympian in women’s gymnastics who married Jack Whitford two months after the London-1948 Olympics. In 1952 Whitford himself became an Olympian after missing the 1948 Olympics due to an injury.
The British duo who each competed in the Olympics were married for 72 years until Evans’ passing in early 2020. At the time of her passing the couple had three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Jack Whitford is currently 98 years old and the oldest living Olympian in men’s gymnastics.